So for anyone that’s been following along, I tried out the bike park this week. I have conflicting feelings towards it at the moment. The general soreness that I still feel a few days later are telling me that maybe I should stick to winter sports, but somehow I just can’t shake the smile I had flying through the windy sections of trail.
I wish I could tell you that I was a natural, and will be taking up a career in the professional mountain biking scene… but as an intuitive reader; you know that isn’t the case.
I think I should’ve maybe brushed up on my bike riding skills before just heading to the top, but hindsight etc. etc… Part of me just assumed that since I knew how to ride a bike, I’d be fine. It was a lot harder than I anticipated.
There are a lot of intricacies with the sport that I never could have appreciated without giving it a try myself. The first thing I learned, gloves are important. Holy cow is mountain biking hard on your hands! (And everything else, it really is a full-body workout)
Some of the guys told me that once you get more confident on a bike; your grip should be fairly loose on the handlebars. It took a substantial amount of effort to let go of the handlebars each time we stopped; I had white knuckles the whole day.
I think that falling might be inevitable with downhill mountain biking, kind of like it is in snowboarding (though the falls are less frequent). The people I’ve met that ride regularly have cuts, bruises and even a little road rash, but they wear it proudly, and can probably tell you where each battle wound came from.
To answer your question, yeah, I fell. It was spectacular. It was one of those falls where people are choking back laughter, because they feel the need to ensure that you’re okay before celebrating the mere fact that they witnessed something so truly majestic.
Headin’ Home, or the fire road, depending on which seasons you spend on the mountain, takes you to approximately Prospector, before splitting off into some of the easier trails. If you can picture it, there’s three net sections, one on each side, and another in the middle a few yards deeper, meaning to slow down riders and funnel them into the “drop in” area.
I suppose I came in a little hotter than I intended to; and between my speed and rusty understanding of how to steer a bike, I nailed one of the posts with my handlebar. The front tire turned to the right, and before I knew what was happening I was over the handlebars and on my back.
This was BEFORE I even made it onto a trail. Though I would’ve liked to ride without the pain I experienced from that crash; I’m kind of glad I got it out of the way early.
I don’t think I’ll be a bike park regular, but I’m sure I have a few more days’ worth of runs ahead of me this summer. It was a brilliant combination of terror and adrenaline.
Before my next trip up; I’m taking a lesson.
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